Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parties, Prairies and Pumpkin Patches

My favorite time of the year is upon us again.  I am not sure why October always brings such warmth and joy to my heart.  Maybe the weather and beauty of the changing trees, maybe the anticipation of the holidays, maybe the birthdays and inevitable family time that this brings, maybe the festivals, hot apple cider and caramel apples.  Is there anyone that does not love fall?   If so, I can not relate!  We have been partying and playing and enjoying every moment of this glorious season.  Hope you can say the same!

Lucy and I went home to Indy to celebrate Lisa and I's birthdays.   What fun the trip was!   It just happened to be the "fall festival" at Lisa's school, so Lucy had a blast spending time in her aunt's second grade classroom:

Notice on the board next to her....he is never far from her heart!

The girls mobbed Lucy when they noticed her over here playing!

Lisa did a question and answer;  the second graders had a lot of neat questions for Lucy!

This about sums it up:  "I Love you Lisa."

It was grandparents day at Lindsay's high school, so Lucy and I tagged along with Papa.  The breakfast was wonderful, but even better was the all school mass afterwards.   How wonderful to be surrounded by so many faith filled youth.   I left feeling so energized.

Spending time with family....

One night we went to Connor Prairie.   This is considered an "interactive history park"; it takes you back to 1836 and what it was like to live during that time.   I remember going to this place as a child, although haven't been there for many years.   They have a wonderful fall festival, complete with hay rides where the headless horsemen chases you (Lucy was quite confused by where his head was!).  It was the best hayride I have ever been on!

Lucy wasn't sure what to make of this "beauty" queen...neither were Lisa or I! 

They had this great tent filled with musical instruments.  Lucy loved it!


The guy in the picture is Lindsay's boyfirend, Luke.  Or, as Lucy calls him "Lukey" (she looooves him)

We saw a fantastic puppet show about Sleepy Hallow... the best I think I have ever seen!
 Let the partying continue.....After returning from a great trip to Indy, Brian's sister Bridget, and his childhood buddy Tom, came to Cincinnati for a visit and to do more celebrating of my birthday! (note:  most of the pictures below were taken with Bridget's camera, if you were wondering why they were so much better!)

The boys decided to act like woodsmen and cut down a few (dead) trees.

Now what?


Lucy enjoyed trying on Aunt Bridgey's camera.

My friend Layne sent me these gorgeous flowers.
And lastly, Lucy and I enjoyed our annual trip to Schappacher Farm with our friends Tammy and Abby:

Enjoy the rest of this beautiful season!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

How Football Binds Us

A tradition was started many years ago, thanks to my brother.    You see, Ray has a fierce love for his Alma mater, the University of South Carolina, and their athletic programs.  Over the years, we have been known to attend a football game or two, to help him cheer on his Gamecocks.  I can't remember how long ago it was that our maiden voyage with this tradition began, but it all started in Lexington, Kentucky against the UK Wildcats, with my Aunt Buzzie (who was still well enough to travel), and my Mom (who was still alive), and my friends who live there, Johanna and Ross.  Fast forward to last year, when we started planning for this year's event--- same match up, different venue:  Columbia, South Carolina.  It was our first time to trek into Ray's territory, and the experience did not disappoint.  The southern hospitality abounded, the accommodations surpassed expectations, and the Gamecocks....well, they won in an exciting finish!

More on that in a moment...  
Brian and I decided since we were trekking down south anyway, why not attach a little beach get away onto the front end of our trip?  So...first some pix from our recent excursion to Myrtle Beach:

That first moment, when she saw the beach...

and got her feet wet in the ocean.

I've said it before, but the beach is undoubtedly God's playground for children.

Every morning, a spectacular sunrise from our balcony.

 This is where you could find me every morning.
(Lucy is taking more of an interest in being behind the camera.)

The "hand-on-hip-aunt-Lisa-sass'' is now traveling across country!

We don't prompt Lucy to do this;  Aunt Lisa has created a beast!

Why go inside for a nap, when our condo owners provided us a beach bed?

I won't tell you how long it took us to figure out how to break down this tent.
(We must have been a sight to see for fellow beach-goers.)
We didn't spend too much time at the pool, as Brian and I prefer the beach.
(In terms of getting in, I think Lucy prefers the pool.)

Sunrise from the balcony:  Day Two

I felt it necessary not  to leave Myrtle without exploring their famous boardwalk.

We walked the 14 blocks down on the boardwalk, and walked back on the beach.
There were butterflies everywhere (see it on the flower?)

Lucy loved chasing them..until they flew towards her!

On Pier 14... a popular fishing location

We got to see this man catch this Drum fish. 

What is better than bubbles?   Bubbles on the beach!

Brian's attempt to save the jellyfish.

Lucy behind the camera again...not bad for a 4 year old!

Girlfriend can jump!

Napping again!

If ever in Myrtle, go to Kirk's Ice Cream...around for 100+ years.   Deeeelish!

Where you would find us relaxing almost every night.

Sunset, the last night we were there.   We went to the other side of our building to watch this.

Sunrise, the last morning we were there.


bye-bye Myrtle Beach!

And now, onto Columbia and the game that made it all come together:

Fathers with their Godchildren
 (Uncle Ray and Lucy--closest, Brian and Maddie--walking in front)

Cousins exploring the capitol building in downtown Columbia

Posing with a statue of "Cocky", the mascot of the team.

Lucy reading Maddie a "Froggy" book that Aunt Lisa gave her.

Ross and Brian, out Friday night in Columbia.
Let the tailgate begin!
  Perfect weather.  Great Food.  Hospitable hosts.  Friends and Family.

Johanna and Ray.   Garnet and Blue got along just fine.

Lucy and Maddie went back to the hotel with the nanny.  Adults headed into the game.

Final score:  South Carolina: 35-- University of Kentucky: 28
Thanks Ray for a great weekend in Gamecock country!

Aren't traditions great?